ORMOC CITY – Ballot boxes that will be manually recounted with the official results of Ormoc City Councilor Lalaine A. Marcos and defeated city councilor aspirant Ma. Cassandra T. Codilla have, accordingly, arrived at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Philpost warehouse in Manila on Thursday, November 25, 2022.

The said ballot boxes came from the 48 clustered precincts in Ormoc City that were personally and formally turned over by City Election Officer Atty. Ramon Dadulla, Jr. and will accordingly be manually recounted per Codilla’s election protest pertaining to the May 2022 elections.

On Monday, November 21, an inventory and sealing of the said ballot boxes was done by the COMELEC and City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) of Ormoc City, which was witnessed by the partie, and their representatives, per directive of the COMELEC First Division.

On the other hand, the manual recount would also be witnessed by both parties or their respective representatives.

According to COMELEC, Codilla spent PHP 617,000.00 for the recount proceedings, which included expenses for inventory, retrieval, sealing, and transporting of the said ballot boxes.

Codilla’s expenses also include the PHP 800.00 per diem of the City Election Officer, City Treasurer, and Support Staff of said Election Officer; and the PHP 500.00 per diem of the Support Staff of the City Treasurer and PNP/Philippine Army who accompanied the said ballot boxes.

During the May 2022 national and local elections, Marcos finished 10th in the race for a seat as a Member of the Ormoc Sanggunian Panlungsod with 48,414 votes, while Codilla finished 11th with 39,046 votes. Marcos, therefore, led over Codilla by a total of 9,368 votes. Meanwhile, Marcos said in a radio interview that she is not certain of Codilla’s reason for the protest despite the big difference between her and Codilla’s votes, but she also emphasized that she respects Codilla’s right to protest, as this is provided for under our elections laws. By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail November 21-27, 2022 issue)